Hypnotherapy for quitting smoking can be an effective method in challenging unhelpful mindsets and negative behaviours associated with smoking, helping you to live a healthier life.
Cigarette smoking is the greatest single cause of illness and premature death in the UK. Worldwide the number is far greater. Tobacco is killing around seven million people each year, while almost one million deaths are due to non-smokers being exposed to secondhand smoke. Despite nearly 80,000 people in the UK dying from smoking-related illnesses each year, one in five adults is still a regular smoker.
Though, it seems things are changing. 40 years ago, 51% of men and 41% of women were smokers. These rates have more than halved, with 15% of UK adults smoking, and 59% saying they have never smoked.
Quitting smoking is a big challenge for a person to face, and they will often need more than just willpower. There are many options now available; from campaigns such as Stoptober and local support groups to medications. For many people, hypnotherapy is an effective solution.
When it comes to stopping smoking, it is important you know why you want to quit and are sure you are making the decision for yourself. Trying to quit when you’re not ready, or for reasons other than your own, can often lead to relapse and feeling like a failure. If you decide you want to quit and are committed to the decision, it’s more likely you’ll succeed.
Why stop smoking?
Smoking increases the risk of developing a wide range of health ailments and diseases. But unfortunately, the habit doesn’t only harm the smoker’s health, it can also have a negative impact on the people around them. If smoking around children and babies, for example, they become vulnerable to many smoking-related health problems, such as COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and the risk of cot death will increase.
Adults who endure passive smoking for a long period of time are also at an increased risk of heart disease and lung cancer. Tobacco is also an irritant; therefore it can make conditions such as asthma worse.
What are the benefits of quitting smoking?
It’s never too late to quit smoking. Whatever age you are, if you make the decision to stop, your health will benefit. However, the sooner you quit; the faster the body can recover and the risk of developing serious health conditions will decrease.
There are many benefits to stopping smoking, including:
- More energy
- Improved immune system
- Longer life expectancy
- Better breathing
- Less stress
- Younger looking skin
- More money
The effects of smoking cessation on the body
The time since the last cigarette and how it affects the body:
- 20 minutes: Blood pressure and heart rate return to normal.
- 12 hours: Carbon monoxide levels drop back to normal.
- 24 hours: The body starts to clear out the mucus build-up in the lungs.
- 72 hours: Breathing becomes easier and energy levels increase.
- 1 month: Appearance of the skin improves.
- 3 to 9 months: Lung function can improve by up to 10 per cent.
- 1 year: Risk of suffering from a heart attack falls to about half of that of a smoker.
- 10 years: Risk of developing lung cancer falls to about half of that of a smoker.
- 15 years: Risk of suffering heart attack falls to that of a non-smoker.
Hypnotherapy to quit smoking
A great number of people find hypnotherapy for smoking an effective treatment. The method works to break the negative behaviours and thinking patterns associated with smoking; like smoking to relieve stress. It is these negative thoughts and behaviours that often prevent people from successfully giving up. Quitting does not deal with the underlying issues.
So, when a person makes the decision to stop smoking, the key aspect is to let go of the routine and change how they view cigarettes. Breaking an addiction like this is a challenge; it won’t be easy, especially if it is a lifelong habit, and changing how you think about something can be difficult.
Hypnotherapy focuses on this change. The hypnotherapist will support you and guide you through the motions, you’re no longer alone in trying to quit. Because of this, hypnotherapy is fast becoming one of the most popular forms of treatment.
When considering hypnosis to stop smoking, the first thing to do is to make sure you are ready and are choosing to quit for yourself. Hypnotherapy for smoking has been found to be most effective when the person really wants to quit and is determined in succeeding.
The reason hypnosis works so well is easy to understand. Smoking, like all habits, is controlled by the unconscious part of the mind.
- Gavin Roberts, 'How you can stop smoking in one session of hypnosis'.
Can you quit smoking through hypnosis?
Hypnotherapy works by guiding the individual into a deep, relaxed state. During this time, the mind is more open to suggestion and change. At this point, the hypnotherapist makes suggestions, which will help you in changing your thought patterns and behaviours associated with smoking.
Suggestions will be tailored to you, but will be along the lines of “I do not want a cigarette” and “the smell of cigarette smoke makes me feel unwell”. They may also ask you to visualise smoking a cigarette, but imagining an unpleasant taste or smell. This can help build an association - when you think of smoking, the unpleasant thoughts will come as well.
You may also be recommended to learn self-hypnosis techniques to practise at home, long after your sessions are over. This means that when a potential trigger occurs, you know how to cope with the feeling. Your therapist will likely include this as part of your sessions, but if you're unsure, ask for more information.
Learn more about self-hypnosis.
Many people find hypnotherapy is enough to break the habit, while others prefer to combine the treatment with NRT (nicotine replacement therapy) or medication. Of course, everyone is different and what may work for one person, may not work for you. By exploring all options, you should be able to find a suitable and effective treatment. The best thing is to speak to people - friends, family, other people who have quit. Discussing your options with your doctor and hypnotherapist can also help you understand what may be best for you.
It is important to remember that hypnotherapy for smoking is not a quick fix. While for some people, one session is enough to quit smoking (or continue the journey alone), others may benefit from follow-up sessions. The ultimate aim of hypnosis for smoking is to empower people to take control of their addiction and improve their health.
I highly recommend anybody that has any issue, no matter what it is, to think about hypnotherapy as an option.
- Read Kev's story.
Finding a hypnotherapist
If you would like to consider hypnotherapy to help you quit smoking, the next step is to find a professional. It may feel daunting at first, but it could be the first step to a much healthier life. It's important to find a hypnotherapist that resonates with you, so we encourage our members to fill their profiles with as much information as possible. This way you can learn more about them, how they work and if they are the person to help you.
How will I know if they are qualified?
On Hypnotherapy Directory, we have a proof policy in place to ensure all professionals listed on our website have provided proof of qualifications and insurance or membership with a professional body. You can use our advanced search to find a hypnotherapist near you. When you find a professional you believe can help, simply send them an email.
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